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Wednesday, June 10, 2009

What to Do When the Doctor Finds "Suspicious Results" on Your Mammogram


18 Sivan 5769

An acquaintance of mine has survived one serious medical diagnosis already. The other day she was shocked out of her sox, so to speak, to get a phone call about a recent mammogram. The doctor wanted to run more tests due to "suspicious" results.

Any normal person would feel a surging rise in their blood pressure over this news. She did. And she added self-blame to the problem. Why? Because she's been taking Hormone Replacement Therapy, a known risk for breast and other cancers.

She asked friends for help in her efforts to face the situation. I'll share my suggestions to her with you, so you'll "get the flavor" of what the "It's MY Crisis! And I'll Cry if I Need To" book is all about: coping strategies.

One step at a time, ____.
Take the shock in smaller doses
so you can cope with it:

You received a call that shocked you.
You're allowed to cry it out.

You've been told
not to delay the mammo.
Be grateful that the situation,
if it exists, has been caught
earlier rather than later.

You've taken HRT under medical advice.
This is not cause to blame yourself.
You acted as wisely as possible
under the circumstances you were in.

Breathe deeply, in, out, in, out.

Practice looking at the larger picture,
still developing, with a game plan.

You want to win the game
with all the dignity,
health, and safety you can.

Write down questions before
going to visit or calling doctors.
Jot down their answers.

Do nice things for yourself
before a wave of panic hits you
(they tend to come
and go on their own).

Each nice thing you do
braces and strengthens you
to cope with aftershocks
and even to enjoy a few laughs.

I'm not minimizing a health situation
by calling it a game.

I'm asking you to
remove the sting it causes
by redirecting your thoughts
from fear and self-blame
to intellect, humor and patience.

You have the skills you need
to finesse this matter.

Show yourself those skills
as you use them
to soothe your psyche.

Need some perspective?
We're supposed to be compassionate.
Including to ourselves.

You want to reassure and
to protect yourself.
Sounds like a normal and healthy
initial reaction to me.

Pray, and go out in the world
as the best person you can be :^)

It's gonna serve you well. Yocheved

The focus is on being kind, compassionate, forgiving of and good to yourself. The medical crisis is tough enough. Beating yourself up will not improve anything. And uh, there's no valid reason at all to destroy your chances of coping with the situation.

Want more coping strategies, some ideas that can make you laugh out loud, see life with some joy despite your pain and sadness?

Read "It's MY Crisis! And I'll Cry if I Need To: A Life Book that Helps You to Dry Your Tears and to Cope with a Medical Challenge."

To your good emotional health,

Yojeved Golani
Coping with a Medical Crisis?
Make the Changes You Need in Your Life

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